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Mince Back on Royal Ascot Menu

The King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot next week could still be on the cards for Mince, despite suffering a surprise defeat last time out.

© Racehorse Photos

Roger Charlton's charge was progressive towards the end of last season, winning her final four starts, culminating in a Group Three success at Ascot.

However, Mince disappointed in the Duke Of York Stakes on her comeback and was beaten at odds-on at Windsor, after which Charlton originally ruled out a trip to Ascot 2013.

However, the handler has since reconsidered that decision as the four-year-old has been in such good form at home.

"She blew much longer than all the other horses that ran in that race, like she still wasn't fit," Charlton told At The Races.

"She's in terrific form, she's eating and fresh and everything else and we're thinking about the King's Stand Stakes.

"Nothing is definite. She's got the track record over six furlongs, but we'll try five this time.

"The owners are very keen to run again as long as she is well. I can't guarantee that she is going to recapture her form, but you only live once."

© Racehorse Photos

Dundonnell could yet have a crack at the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, according to his trainer Roger Charlton.

The Beckhampton handler had been aiming one of last season's leading juveniles at the Jersey Stakes over seven furlongs, but the way he finished his race off over that trip when getting back to winning ways at Newmarket last time out convinced Charlton to give the Group One serious consideration.

He told At The Races: "We're going to confirm an entry in the St James's Palace and have a look. It could pan out that there might be five or six runners, with the two obvious horses being Toronado and Magician, but I wonder what else will run."

Charlton added: "The Jersey Stakes will have a lot of runners and he'll have a penalty in that.

"I thought the way he ran over seven furlongs at Newmarket he looked like he wants a mile again.

"He's in good form, he's working well, but we're a kind of 25-1 chance, not 3-1."

The Lark
© Racehorse Photos

The Lark
Michael Bell says it is "unlikely" The Lark will run in the Ribblesdale Stakes due to the recent dry spell.

A daughter of Pivotal, she showed her class by finishing third in the Oaks but is from a family who all preferred cut in the ground. Bell had intended her to head to Berkshire but unless the forecasts are wrong, the ground will be too quick.

Should that be the case, her next outing could be in the Irish Oaks.

"It's looking unlikely she'll run at Ascot," said the Newmarket handler.

"Given the recent weather and looking at the forecasts it seems very unlikely that she'll get her ground.

"Her options after Ascot are the Prix Malleret at Saint-Cloud (June 23) or the Irish Oaks (Curragh, July 20).

"She's fit and well, it's just the ground looks like being too fast."

Sir Henry Cecil with Frankel after winning the 2012 Queen Anne Stakes
© Caroline Norris

Sir Henry Cecil with Frankel
Legendary trainer Sir Henry Cecil died on Tuesday morning at the age of 70 following a long battle with stomach cancer.

Champion trainer 10 times and responsible for 25 British Classic winners, the master of Warren Place in Newmarket was also the leading handler by some way at Royal Ascot with a record 75 successes.

Ed Dunlop has announced that Snow Fairy has suffered a minor set back, which means she will be on the easy list for a couple of weeks and will sadly miss Royal Ascot.

She had apparently come through a racecourse gallop last week with flying colours and was all set to clash with Al Kazeem and Camelot in the Prince Of Wales's Stakes, but is now likely to take in a campaign in the second half of the season.

Purr Along
© Racehorse Photos

Purr Along
Purr Along is on course to make her seasonal return in the Coronation Stakes next Friday after pleasing trainer William Muir in a gallop on Wednesday morning.

The Mount Nelson filly made great strides last term, graduating from a Wolverhampton maiden success in July to winning a Deauville Group Three in August.

Muir then upped her sights to Group One company and after finishing a fine second in the Fillies' Mile at Newmarket, she then suffered a troubled passage when eighth in the Prix Marcel Boussac, losing a shoe early in the race.

Purr Along had been viewed as a 1000 Guineas contender but a minor early-season setback meant the Classic came too soon, and Muir is hoping to get her back on course at the Royal meeting.

He said: "She worked lovely this morning and as long as she comes out of it OK tomorrow, we'll be looking to Ascot.

"Martin (Dwyer, jockey) rode her and he was pleased with her, she went really well.

"She pulled a muscle earlier in the year and we have just taken our time with her, we didn't want to rush her back."

Muir also has Califante in the frame for Ascot, with the Kyllachy filly set to tackle a Listed handicap next Wednesday.

Califante finished eighth in the Fred Darling Stakes and was fifth in a York Listed event on her most recent outing.

Muir added: "She's going to run in the Sandringham Handicap."

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